EM director pleased with county’s share of security funding

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
Marion County ranked 22nd among the 105 Kansas counties in the amount of grant money for fiscal year 2006 it received through the state in Homeland Security funding, Michele Abbott-Becker told the county commission Monday.

Abbott-Becker, the county’s director of communications and emergency management, said she has been pleased with the county’s share of $92,200, which the commissioners authorized her to sign for with the state.

Abbott-Becker said she also is pleased with the $1.3 million in additional Homeland Security funds allocated for the south-central region of Kansas, which includes Marion County.

Abbott-Becker told the commissioners it is sometimes ironic that rural counties receive additional aid, but they qualify for it because they are less developed with fewer specialized emergency departments.

For instance, Homeland Security helped funds a unified radio system for the county because the emergency medical, fire and law enforcement departments lacked the ability to talk to each other in disasters with existing the system.

The commissioners announced that Roberta “Bobbi” Strait of Liberal has been appointed to succeed David Brazil as county zoning director and sanitarian. She held similar positions for Seward County.

County Clerk Carol Maggard noted that noon Monday was the deadline to file for the August primary. Commissioner Bob Hein filed for reelection minutes before the deadline with no opponent filed.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to change the rules for fireworks displays in the county. County residents may now have fireworks displays on their own property without a permit anytime during a 10-day period from June 27 to July 6. The days will vary according to the day the Fourth of July falls on.

Permits issued will be for fireworks sales.

The commissioners authorized Rollin Schmidt, noxious weed, household hazardous waste and transfer station director, to proceed with applying for an aluminum-can crusher grant through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Schmidt said the trash compactor at the transfer station has made it possible to ship semi-truck loads averaging 19.5 tons of solid waste to Perry.

The commissioners authorized Schmidt 3-0 to spend $245 for green light/red light signals on the scales at the transfer station. They advised him to wait until next year to install digital billboard readout at the scales.

Hein and Commission Chair Dan Holub voted to designate County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman as a voting delegate to the National Association of Counties meeting in Chicago. Commissioner Randy Dallke voted against it.

Maggard confirmed that Bateman is using special auto funds that she is in charge of to make the trip. Dallke has been against using public funds for extensive trips.

Maggard said specialists in issuing bonds are keeping in contact with the county in case it moves forward with a bond election to finance a new correction center since it was authorized to do so in a state legislative bill.

Maggard said since the Old Settlers Day committee of Marion has released a theme for the event this fall of “Marion County Courthouse-100 Years of Service,” plans are being formulated for the county to participate. This probably will include an open house Friday of that weekend and perhaps courthouse tours on Saturday.

The commissioners authorized final payment of $134,557 in road and bridge funds to Schilling Construction Co. and engineers for pavement overlay on five miles of Old Mill Road and the length of the Durham-Lincolnville Road.

Road and Bridge Director Jim Herzet said his department has begun blade patching Kanza Road at 140th, and will proceed north to the Durham-Lincolnville Road.

Woody Crawhaw of the ambulance department reported 80 ambulance runs for May, 13 from Peabody, seven from Florence, 25 from Marion, 32 from Hillsboro and three from Tampa.

They included 5 transfers, 3 cardiac, 20 medical emergency, 8 standby, 7 motor vehicle accidents, 12 falls and 18 no-transports.

Five first-response runs were made- one from Burns, three from Goessel and one from Durham. Marion Rescue went out four times, he said.

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